A hard lesson in "situational awareness"

This is a discussion on A hard lesson in "situational awareness" within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So I'm home working at my desk this morning and hear a loud bang just outside to the south, maybe a transformer blew I thought... ...

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Thread: A hard lesson in "situational awareness"

  1. #1
    Member Array 9c4me's Avatar
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    A hard lesson in "situational awareness"

    So I'm home working at my desk this morning and hear a loud bang just outside to the south, maybe a transformer blew I thought... but the power is still on... then out the window see my shirtless neighbor run across the street and get behind a tree. What the heck is he doing?
    I look out the front door and he's walking back to his house...hmmm. I go back to my office and put on my CCW before going out to take a look.
    I step out, he sees me and yells "my house just got robbed, can you call the police" After he briefly explains he was asleep and woke up to 3 guys looting his house and that he's OK and they are gone, I run back in and get my cell phone off my desk to call police. They arrived in 5 min. and did a thorough investigation.

    He was asleep and woke up by noises in the house, figured it was his roommate that was supposed to be out of town and got up to see what was going on. Walks into the kitchen where 3 young black men are standing, he goes after them like a bulldog chasing them through the garage, back through the house and out the front door where they jump into a car waiting in the driveway. As he comes out after them one sticks a pistol out the car window and fires a shot in his (and my house's) general direction before taking off. Luckily my neighbor wasn't hurt and they did not get away with any valuables, since a gun was used I believe it becomes a felony event, so hopefully they will catch those guys.

    A few hours later after the adrenalin settled I was reviewing what happened in my mind, and am a bit disappointed (in myself and my reactions) but it is eye-opening and I know some things can be learned from it.

    First- the gunshot...why did my mind try to explain it as something besides a gunshot? That should be the first thing that comes to mind when I hear one, not the last.
    Second- seeing him run for cover...instead of my mind processing what was actually happening, again I was wondering what he was doing and thinking of other explanations.
    Third- My CCW...It wasn't on me. It was holstered setting on my desk and I had to go back for it. I've read here before to just "put it on in the morning and take it off at night."
    Fourth- my cellphone...I had the case on my belt but when I needed it to call police...left it on my desk and had to go back in the house to get it.

    Bottom line- it happened fast and nobody expects something like this on a quiet Sunday morning but... there was a very bad scenario going down next door and outside my window and I failed to realize it as it unfolded or react as quickly as I could have. This bothers me because I've learned and preached quite a bit about "situational awareness" the past couple years. Also because had I reacted quicker I might have been able to get a tag number or at least a description of the vehicle.

    I know the mind speculates and tries to make rational explanations for things occurring that we don't understand, just like when he thought the noises were his roommate yet he knew his roommate was out of town. (He even had a loaded weapon in the bedroom but didn't take it to see who was in the house because his mind assumed it must be the roommate.)

    Would like to hear any info or experiences concerning how our brains react to bad events as they occur. Being better prepared and practicing more awareness is something easily controlled, but is it possible to "tune out" our mind's rationalizations or get better control of it's inability to process what is really happening during such events? Is it something that can be learned, or if it's subconscious, unlearned? Are law enforcement and military trained to assume the worst first, and to process information and react to it faster?
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    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    Ummmmmm.......

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    Member Array CCinaG26's Avatar
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    At the very least, there is an excellent lesson to be learned. I bet you don't make the same mistake twice.

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    Chalk it up to experience. I hear a lot of things that sound like gunshots but aren't.
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    Member Array ItalianSteel's Avatar
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    Don't be too hard on yourself, these are experiences that make us better. Fortunately no one was hurt and nothing valuable stolen, it could have been way worse. As much of a lesson as you think it is for you, it's an even bigger one for your neighbor. I'm sure he will always carry his gun when "checking things out" even if he assumes they are nothing.

    While being prepared and ready for a threat is important, never forget Rule #4: Know what you are shooting, what's around it, and beyond it. This one is more for your neighbor, had he come out checking with his gun and it did happen to be his roommate.

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    Member Array Compa49's Avatar
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    That is why law enforcement officers and military train so much. You never know how you will react once the adrenaline is flowing. This experience will help you for the future if you should every need it but most likely you won't react much better since luckily these situations don't happen often enough for it to be normal. I think you reacted about as well as a typical non-trained person would react. Myself being a new CHP holder I would probably have reacted very similar.
    9c4me, 84160 and OhioCatter like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9c4me View Post
    So I'm home working at my desk this morning and hear a loud bang just outside to the south, maybe a transformer blew I thought... but the power is still on... then out the window see my shirtless neighbor run across the street and get behind a tree. What the heck is he doing?
    I look out the front door and he's walking back to his house...hmmm. I go back to my office and put on my CCW before going out to take a look.
    I step out, he sees me and yells "my house just got robbed, can you call the police" After he briefly explains he was asleep and woke up to 3 guys looting his house and that he's OK and they are gone, I run back in and get my cell phone off my desk to call police. They arrived in 5 min. and did a thorough investigation.

    He was asleep and woke up by noises in the house, figured it was his roommate that was supposed to be out of town and got up to see what was going on. Walks into the kitchen where 3 young black men are standing, he goes after them like a bulldog chasing them through the garage, back through the house and out the front door where they jump into a car waiting in the driveway. As he comes out after them one sticks a pistol out the car window and fires a shot in his (and my house's) general direction before taking off. Luckily my neighbor wasn't hurt and they did not get away with any valuables, since a gun was used I believe it becomes a felony event, so hopefully they will catch those guys.

    A few hours later after the adrenalin settled I was reviewing what happened in my mind, and am a bit disappointed (in myself and my reactions) but it is eye-opening and I know some things can be learned from it.

    First- the gunshot...why did my mind try to explain it as something besides a gunshot? That should be the first thing that comes to mind when I hear one, not the last.
    Second- seeing him run for cover...instead of my mind processing what was actually happening, again I was wondering what he was doing and thinking of other explanations.
    Third- My CCW...It wasn't on me. It was holstered setting on my desk and I had to go back for it. I've read here before to just "put it on in the morning and take it off at night."
    Fourth- my cellphone...I had the case on my belt but when I needed it to call police...left it on my desk and had to go back in the house to get it.

    Bottom line- it happened fast and nobody expects something like this on a quiet Sunday morning but... there was a very bad scenario going down next door and outside my window and I failed to realize it as it unfolded or react as quickly as I could have. This bothers me because I've learned and preached quite a bit about "situational awareness" the past couple years. Also because had I reacted quicker I might have been able to get a tag number or at least a description of the vehicle.

    I know the mind speculates and tries to make rational explanations for things occurring that we don't understand, just like when he thought the noises were his roommate yet he knew his roommate was out of town. (He even had a loaded weapon in the bedroom but didn't take it to see who was in the house because his mind assumed it must be the roommate.)

    Would like to hear any info or experiences concerning how our brains react to bad events as they occur. Being better prepared and practicing more awareness is something easily controlled, but is it possible to "tune out" our mind's rationalizations or get better control of it's inability to process what is really happening during such events? Is it something that can be learned, or if it's subconscious, unlearned? Are law enforcement and military trained to assume the worst first, and to process information and react to it faster?
    re. part in bold. Don't be hard on yourself. That's the way most normal people respond. We are wired to assume a benign
    event is happening. If it were otherwise we'd drown in our own adrenaline. Oh, and there has been more than one tragedy
    due to the fact that someone didn't realize their roommate returned early. So, don't be hard on yourself.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
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    Member Array Keith44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9c4me View Post
    So I'm home working at my desk this morning and hear a loud bang just outside to the south, maybe a transformer blew I thought... but the power is still on... then out the window see my shirtless neighbor run across the street and get behind a tree.

    ...

    Would like to hear any info or experiences concerning how our brains react to bad events as they occur. Being better prepared and practicing more awareness is something easily controlled, but is it possible to "tune out" our mind's rationalizations or get better control of it's inability to process what is really happening during such events? Is it something that can be learned, or if it's subconscious, unlearned? Are law enforcement and military trained to assume the worst first, and to process information and react to it faster?
    You sound like a very level headed person who wants to believe the world is not a bad place. Likely your neighborhood is usually a quiet safe place, and so while at home you are complacent. Everyone relaxes more while at home, it's only natural. Home invaders count on it. So you are sitting in your version of a safe zone (your home) and hear a bang. You simply do not and cannot accept that trouble has come to your safe zone. A neighbor runs shirtless and hides behind a tree?? and still, your mind cannot accept that trouble has come. You are in a safe zone after all. This mind set is what lets the bad elements of our society get away with so much mischief. If you take steps to actually be safe in your safe zone you will be called paranoid. So some balance in comfort and safety has to be reached. This is something everyone will have to sort out for themselves. Me I get up, put on a fire arm, make coffee and then go about my day. In that exact order.
    9c4me, niks, Nix and 1 others like this.

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    Live and learn my friend and then do not repeat the same flawed behavior. Best thing I can tell you is, have a gun on you even at home. At the least I have my Ruger LCP in my pocket even at home, just as I do right now.
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    Member Array 9c4me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith44 View Post
    You sound like a very level headed person who wants to believe the world is not a bad place. Likely your neighborhood is usually a quiet safe place, and so while at home you are complacent. Everyone relaxes more while at home, it's only natural. Home invaders count on it. So you are sitting in your version of a safe zone (your home) and hear a bang. You simply do not and cannot accept that trouble has come to your safe zone. A neighbor runs shirtless and hides behind a tree?? and still, your mind cannot accept that trouble has come. You are in a safe zone after all. This mind set is what lets the bad elements of our society get away with so much mischief. If you take steps to actually be safe in your safe zone you will be called paranoid. So some balance in comfort and safety has to be reached. This is something everyone will have to sort out for themselves. Me I get up, put on a fire arm, make coffee and then go about my day. In that exact order.
    Thanks for the responses, Keith44 I think you hit the nail on the head. We are in a nice well-kept older neighborhood and have a one car private security patrol but not 24 hrs., in fact I don't even think they patrol on weekends. Although an occasional house or car break-in does happen I just never expected it on a peaceful Sunday morning while enjoying my coffee. In the past house burglaries usually occurred weekday mornings after homeowners went to work and car burglaries late at night to vehicles left on the street.
    If you take steps to actually be safe in your safe zone you will be called paranoid.
    True because a good friend that lives nearby called me exactly that a couple years ago year after I started carrying and installed security doors on my house.
    I will no longer be so complacent at home no matter what day of the week and pay attention when I hear or see something out of the ordinary. Definitely think the neighbor learned a few lessons too, like he needs a gun safe since the bad guys had piled up a few of his guns with the other loot they had planned on taking.

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    Member Array DallasCMT's Avatar
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    I would have done the same thing you did. About all I can personally relate to the story is that one night recently I heard something outside in the driveway, started to go check it out, but stopped at the door to pull the .38 off the top shelf of the nearby closet, tucked it into the waistband before going out. Turned out to be my trash can got blown over, but I did feel better having the .38 with me.

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    Distinguished Member Array chuckusaret's Avatar
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    Just be glad no one was injured.
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    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    Dont be hard on yourself, nobody was killed or injured. But dont fall into the Im home so Im safe thing again either.
    A firearm preferably one able to do the job quickly should be on you at all times until you go to bed and then in arms reach, then back on you when you get up.
    Here in rural country gunshots arent uncommon at night. Hunters and such. But a bang near my house that could be on my land will get my attention faster than hornet sting to my left ehhhh well you know.

    No harm no foul. Good learning situation that ended well and now you know what not to do
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    Definitely the one thing I thought when reading your post, that you already pointed out yourself, was "WHY DID YOU HAVE TO GO BACK TO GET YOUR GUN?" That thing should be on you, man!
    Snub44, squid86 and blitzburgh like this.
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    ...five years ago, folks on forums were mocking and ridiculing anyone who confessed to carrying a gun all the time, let alone at home or working around our yards...five years have changed a lot of minds and taught a lot of hard lessons, and carrying within our home is a part of life for many of us...two steps away is two steps too far when one kick will open most exterior doors...

    ...I never open my front door, even to get something from the car, without at least my BUG on me...when I go from room to room, it goes with me, even if I have to pick it up...just like my eyeglasses and a light at night...it's a necessary thing...
    ...I'd take this opportunity to get to know your neighbor and find out how they got in...what preparations he might make should he be visited again...maybe a plan for the two of you to communicate to each other if either hears something suspicious...

    ...the times, they are a'changin'...glad this one worked out OK
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith44 View Post
    You sound like a very level headed person who wants to believe the world is not a bad place. Likely your neighborhood is usually a quiet safe place, and so while at home you are complacent. Everyone relaxes more while at home, it's only natural. Home invaders count on it. So you are sitting in your version of a safe zone (your home) and hear a bang. You simply do not and cannot accept that trouble has come to your safe zone. A neighbor runs shirtless and hides behind a tree?? and still, your mind cannot accept that trouble has come. You are in a safe zone after all. This mind set is what lets the bad elements of our society get away with so much mischief. If you take steps to actually be safe in your safe zone you will be called paranoid. So some balance in comfort and safety has to be reached. This is something everyone will have to sort out for themselves. Me I get up, put on a fire arm, make coffee and then go about my day. In that exact order.

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